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Arsene Wenger has revealed his delight at extending Per Mertesacker’s contract, Squawka claims the boss wrote in his program notes ahead of the game against Burnley.
The 32-year-old defender signed a new one-year deal last week, despite reports linking him with an exit.
Mertesacker who is yet to feature for the Gunners this season is not expected to become a first-team regular at the Emirates again due to the presence of Shkodran Mustafi and it was suggested that he could leave at the end of the season but Wenger has now revealed the reasons Arsenal extended the player’s contract despite his chances of being part of the starting line up very slim.
Wenger claims the midfielder’s “influence and Leadership qualities” are the main reasons the club was keen to extend his contract.
“I’m very pleased that [Per] will be staying with us beyond this season,” said the Frenchman. “He is a leader and is one of the four centre-backs who has experience and can guide the team.”
Wenger also went further to reveal, negotiations wasn’t difficult as the club had an option to extend the player’s contract by one year which we simply activated.
“There were no negotiations. In fact because he had an option for extension. So it’s not really a new contract, it’s just an extension of the old one.”
Mertesacker only just returned to first-team training and although he is yet to step out on the pitch, I believe he has done enough to convince Wenger in training that he still has a lot to offer the team.
Like I said when the defender was being linked with a move away from the Emirates, the new deal will be beneficial to Arsenal because his experience will be a great asset in tough times.